How to Become a

City Clerk

The complete career guide to be a City Clerk: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $38,230
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

City clerks are record-keepers for a city. They oversee and maintain all records for a municipality. This may include creating and distributing agendas for city meetings, creating and archiving meeting minutes, and documenting ordinances. In some cities, clerks may handle licensing or oversee elections.

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What is a City Clerk?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in city clerk roles:

  • Perform administrative functions for the city mayor, city council, and other city officials and departments
  • Create, maintain, and distribute documentation pertaining to city meetings, ordinances, and elections
  • Prepare city and department budgets and oversee adherence to budgets
  • Create and distribute public records, certify documents, and grant licenses
  • Oversee elections, ballot collection, and vote counting and verification

A Day in the Life

City clerks serve an important role in their communities. They perform all administrative and record-keeping tasks for the city. They work closely with city managers, mayors, and city councils to prepare city meetings, create meeting agendas, and document and distribute meeting minutes and transcriptions. Additionally, city clerks create and maintain budgets for different city departments, recommending where budgets should be allocated, and ensuring budgets are not exceeded.

Each state has its own interpretation of the role of the city clerk, so responsibilities may vary depending on which state you live in. In some states, city clerks oversee licensing and perform tasks like distributing driver’s licenses to new drivers and new state residents. In other states, city clerks oversee election processes. They review ballot information, establish and secure voting locations, and oversee ballot distribution and collection. They may also oversee counting of votes and validate election results.

City clerks maintain thorough documentation for cities and are commonly thought of as city historians. They keep birth and death documentation for residents of the city and have long histories of all city government personnel, ordinance, and law changes. They also ensure that new laws and ordinances are distributed to the public when required through newspapers and other public mediums. City clerks may need to maintain both hard copies of records and electronic copies, and must be extremely organized.

Typical Work Schedule

In general, city clerks work full-time during normal business hours and are off on weekends and holidays. They may sometimes be required to work evening or weekend shifts to accommodate city meetings or election day ballot counting.

Typical Employers

City clerks work for local city, town, and municipal governments are may report to a city council, city manager, or mayor.

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How To Become a City Clerk

The job requirements for a city clerk depend in part on the city you live in. In some cities, a high school diploma may be sufficient education to secure a role as a city clerk, though you’ll need to have significant experience. Many individuals start in entry-level positions in clerk’s offices or other government offices. With government experience, many years of professional experience, and good standing among government officials, these individuals may qualify for city clerk positions mid-career.

Other cities may require city clerks to have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. The degree pursued can be flexible, but business administration, public administration, and political science degrees may be of the most benefit. These programs provide students with detailed knowledge of record-keeping best practices, political histories, and functional components of federal, state, and local governments. This knowledge can be extremely useful for aspiring city clerks when they start working in the field.

City clerks work with many different types of people of varying personalities, so good people skills and negotiating skills are important. Attention to detail and effective organization are also important as it’s critical for city clerks to maintain accurate and easily navigable systems of information and records retrieval. Outside of government clerk experience, business administration experience can also be helpful in teaching aspiring city clerks the skills needed to success in city clerk positions.

City Clerk Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do City Clerk salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, City Clerk's can make an average annual salary of $38,230, or $18 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $28,680 or $14 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #563 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a City Clerk. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among City Clerks

  • 1.6%   Doctorate
  • 2.2%   Masters
  • 19.3%   Bachelors
  • 13.5%   Associates
  • 34%   College
  • 28.4%   High School
  • 1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does City Clerk job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 6,300 jobs for a total of 147,100 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #462 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most City Clerks

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 98,400 5,600 6%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 34,700 500 1%
Self-employed workers 4,700 --- ---

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